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Publisher's Summary

The office of the public defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long, and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it is just another of the many senseless murders that hit D.C. every week.

As he digs into the background of his client, Clay stumbles on a conspiracy too horrible to believe. He suddenly finds himself in the middle of a complex case against one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, looking at the kind of enormous settlement that would totally change his life - that would make him, almost overnight, the legal profession's newest king of torts...

©2003 Belfry Holdings, Inc. (P)2003 Random House, Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House, Inc.

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  • Overall

Couldn't Disagree More.....

I couldn't disagree more with some other customer reviewers. I finished The King of Torts tonight on my commute home and thought it was a very satisfying ending to an exciting book. The character development was excellent--the topic fascinating. I cheered on Clay's successes and worried through the failures. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book. Congratulations John Grisham on another winner!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • VH
  • 05-28-03

The King of Torts

Predictable, but enjoyable. I found that the characters were well developed, the story line very interesting and the reader supurb. My husband and I listened to this book in the car on a 15 hr road trip - we continued to listen each time we were in the car for the next week. Both of us found it entertaining but were letdown by the drop-off ending. We expected more information about the characters and their fate - but were left hi and dry. However, the reader, Michael Beck, was excellent - he managed to portray the different characters without a stilted or false sounding voice. Each character was distinctive and clear - he has a gift. Definately worth the purchase.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Clara
  • Bronx, NY, USA
  • 03-11-04

Grisham shines

This book was grisham at his best. Very captivating approach to the legal system. Ofcourse I think the ending could have been a lot different. However I definitely recommend it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Ho hum...

Mildly interesting look at the world of tort law, but the love story is not compelling and the plot is straightforward, without the interesting twists that Grisham usually employs.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Virginia
  • Playa del Rey, CA, USA
  • 05-22-03

Moralistic and Predictable

The protagonist is a "nice guy" attorney presented with an opportunity to make lots of money if he accepts a deal that will result in his client going to jail, but the family members of the killer's victims will receive millions of dollars. As the reader you expect him to find a way to save his clients and thwart the "big bad drug company". He doesn't and what follows is his rocketing accent into the world of millionair lawyers with private lear jets and rocketing descent into moral degeneration. As the reader you find you can emphasize with him, but because he is so predictably caught up in the "look at the big picture" and "well, he did do it even if it wasn't his fault" prevailing attitude, you soon find yourself just plain bored. The story goes on to show how he gets further and further involved in Big Tort Litigation, turning a sympathetic, but blind eye to the people really hurt by the companies. He is motivated by all the things we all are, and many of us would probably behave the same in his situation. But most of us want our fictional characters to have higher ethics than we ourselfs and to kick "big corporation butt". The ultimate loss of everything except the socialite girlfriend, who is one of his primary reasons for getting involved in the first place, is predictable. I found myself staying with it expecting it to liven up--it never did. But, classifies as a great book on moral decay and greed in the world of "Tort Litigation"

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Harris
  • Syosset, NY, USA
  • 02-12-03

The Faustian Tort King

A young, poor lawyer enters into a Faustian agreement that brings him instant wealth, greed and ultimately destruction. This is one of Grisham's best novels and although it shows an ugly side of the legal profession, as well as the human condition, it keeps you interested from beginning to end. I would definitely recommend this, particularly to those who consider themselves Grishamites.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Blah, Blah Blah

I have been getting more and more disgusted with Grisham. It seems like Clay Carter, Grisham got stuck by the bug of fame, money and all that comes with it after his first book. His books have become more and more like a movie with the entire plot laid out within the first 20 minutes. I wanted to like him again, but it didn't happen. This book was over after half the book. The ending was obvious because there was no other way for it to go but down. Grisham didn't even try to give us twists and turns on the way out. If you want a better read Sue Grafton, Linda Fairstein, Steve Martini Janet Evanovich or Perri O'Shanesay would be more enjoyable and leave Grisham to the masses who don't read enough to know better.

94 of 113 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tim
  • Fremont, NE, United States
  • 01-11-06

Excellent Book - Excellent Reader!

Wow! This is my 3rd Grisham book, and it was hard to put this one down. The story line is very compelling and it should unsettle us greatly if stories like this are even close to being true!

In contrast with some of the other reviewers, I thought the characters were developed well and the book was balanced in terms of "action" and character development. I did not find the ending to be a letdown, but it was somewhat different than I expected (which can point to an author not being too predictable).

On top of being a great book, the reader was absolutely excellent - probably one of the best 10 audiobooks I've read as far as the narrator goes. He does a great job of doing dialects (deep south, African-American, Russian, etc..). The characters really seemed more "real", the way he read them.

No complaints from me here - well worth the time and money!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


This was a different kind of book for grisham, more of a cautionary tale than a thriller. It is an interesting read, and will keep you listening, but don't expect fast paced action, or tense drama.

24 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

king of torts

This book was just NOT up to Grisham's standards. The main character lacked a personality. The entire plot was too far fetched. It was as if Grishman had to get a next book on the shelf and simply wrote anything. Too many other good books in the library to waste time on this one.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful